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    Man United to offer captaincy to Paul Pogba to ward off Real Madrid interest – Mirror

    As per a report from the Mirror, Manchester United are ready to offer the club’s captaincy to Paul Pogba, in a bid to refocus the midfielder amid mounting links with Real Madrid.

    Zidane returns

    Zinedine Zidane made his return to the bench at the Bernabeu on the 11th of March.

    The former Real midfielder was reinstalled following failed stints on the part of both Julen Lopetegui and Santi Solari, which led to the capital giants relinquishing their title as European champions for the first time in 4 years, and failing to mount any kind of serious La Liga title challenge to Clasico rivals Barcelona.

    And, on the back of Zidane’s return, Los Merengues have since been linked with a massive summer spending spree.

    Numerous outlets across Europe have run similar stories, suggesting that Real are ready to break the bank on a number of high-profile additions.

    Pogba targeted

    Chief among the names linked with a Bernabeu switch have been Premier League duo Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba.

    Chelsea attacker Hazard is known to be a long-time target of the soon-to-be dethroned Champions League holders, though the rumours of a potential Blancos’ swoop for Manchester United midfield standout Pogba have majorly ramped up since Zidane’s reappointment last month.

    Paul Pogba during the UEFA Champions League Round-of-16 First-Leg match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

    Zidane is said to have identified Pogba as the ideal addition to his side’s midfield, with Luka Modric set to turn 34 in the summer, and both Toni Kroos and Casemiro having struggled for form this season.

    And the Real boss did little to play down the rumours linking Los Merengues with a swoop for his fellow countryman during a press conference late last month, when he explained:

    ‘I really like Pogba and you know that.’

    ‘I know him very well. He’s a different kind of player and he can provide many things because of his skills. He knows how to attack and defend.’

    ‘However, he’s not my player. He plays for United and we have to respect that. He’s always said that he likes Madrid.’

    New United captain?

    Pogba himself has also admitted that it would mark a ‘dream for anyone’ to line out in the colours of Madrid, leading to ever-growing claims that the 26-year-old has his sights firmly set on an Old Trafford departure.

    As per the aforementioned report from the Mirror, though, Manchester United have a plan firmly in place in their bid to hold onto the club’s star midfielder.

    The Red Devils are said to be ready to offer the captain’s armband to Pogba for next season.

    Current United captain Antonio Valencia is set to depart Manchester this summer, following the expiration of his contract.

    And Pogba could well be the man set to replace the Ecuadorian as skipper, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen ‘to show the French midfielder how much they value him’.

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